Broadway Shows are a huge attraction in NYC for locals and tourists alike. We know people who plan trips just to come see shows. Whether you’re into them or not it’s worth doing at least once, but with so many options it’s sometimes hard to decide what you should see. We’re making our way through the list, but here are our favorites so far.

Your Guide to the Best Broadway Musicals and Shows in NYC // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork


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Date Updated: Jun 24, 2018     Originally Created: March 8, 2018


1. The Book of Mormon, Eugene O’Neill Theatre

It’s an older one, but this has been our favorite overall musical. The music is catchy, the songs are hilarious, and the story kept us engaged all the way through. It has won 9 Tony Awards since 2011, and I can’t believe it’s taken us until now to watch it!

Book of Mormon Musical on Broadway NYC + 5 Broadway Shows You Can't Miss in New York City // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork

2. Hamilton, Richard Rodgers Theatre

We finally got to see it and can absolutely see why this show has so much hype. It’s brilliantly written, entertaining, educational (how much do you actually know about Alexander Hamilton), and the production is great. With that said, it’s hard for us to say that it’s the best musical we’ve ever seen. We heard from all our friends that this show met all the hype and couldn’t be overhyped, we’d have to disagree. We really enjoyed the show, but we wouldn’t go out of the way to watch it again. The music and lyrics were brilliant but nothing in particular was catchy (except King George’s song).

If you still haven’t seen it, here are a few ways to score tickets since they are still so hard to come by:

  • The Hamilton app makes it so easy to enter the lottery and you can set daily reminders. This also means a ton of people enter. We’ve entered every day for over 6 months with no luck. Rumor has it that if you have a NYC address, you get preferential treatment, but we don’t know for sure.
  • You can also line up at the Richard Rodgers Theatre early in the morning and wait for cancellations. Most people start lining up at 11 AM, but the people we talked to at the front of the line had been there since 6 AM on a Wednesday.

Hamilton the Musical + Your Guide to the Best Broadway Musicals and Shows in NYC + How to Get the Best Deals on Broadway Show Tickets + A Complete List of Current Broadway Shows, Off-Broadway Shows, and Off-Off Broadway Shows // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork

3. Jersey Boys, New World Stages

We love Jersey Boys! It’s the only musical we’ve watched more than once. It was our third time watching it (first time on Broadway), but I have to admit that the talent on Broadway is unparalleled. The actor who plays Frankie Valli actually sounded like him. The songs are nicely woven into the story, and we’re always impressed by what they’re able to do using such a simple set.

Note: It helps to be familiar with the songs. We noticed a younger couple who didn’t seem to enjoy it as much. They had no idea that it was based off of a true story.

4. Chicago, Ambassador Theatre

If you’re looking for a classic Broadway musical, this one definitely needs to make your list. We forgot how many recognizable songs came from Chicago. The dancing, ensemble, talent are all remarkable. If you’ve seen the movie, the Broadway version has such a different feel. It’s way more comedic. You should absolutely watch the Broadway version!

Chicago - One of the Best Broadway Musicals Ever + 5 NYC Broadway Shows You Can't Miss + Your Complete List of Current Broadway Shows in NYC // Local Adventurer #nyc #broadway
photo: Jeremy Daniel

5. Come from Away, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre

We first heard about Come from Away on a previous trip to NYC when we met some folks from Newfoundland who were really excited about it. For those of you guys who don’t know the story, it’s about the 38 planes that were rerouted to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland following the attacks of 9/11. The musical does an amazing job of capturing so many different emotions from that day and masterfully weaved in difficult topics like racism. It had us laughing, crying, singing along, and certainly helped restore some faith in humanity.

Come From Away - One of the Top Musicals in NYC // Local Adventurer #nyc #musicals #broadway
photo: Matthew Murphy

6. School of Rock the Musical, Winter Garden Theatre

Following the story of the movie, School of Rock was absolutely amazing. The kids are incredibly talented and really shine. We kept looking at each other in disbelief that these kids were actually playing and singing.

Alex Brightman and the Kids of School of Rock at the Winter Garden Theater NYC // Local Adventurer #broadway #nyc

7. Waitress, Brooks Atkinson Theatre

Waitress is one of the shows who bring in temporary guests to star in the show. Sara Bareilles and Katherine McPhee have been here since we moved to NYC, as well as Jason Mraz. It was a cute story and they do a good job of making it feel immersive. You can even buy mason jar pies to eat during the show. We loved the music during the show, but didn’t find any of them memorable after.

Waitress Musical on Broadway + Your Guide to Watching Broadway Shows // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyorkWaitress Musical on Broadway + Your Guide to Watching Broadway Shows // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork

Chris Fitzgerald absolutely steals the show. His first song completely blew away the audience.

Waitress Musical on Broadway NYC (photo: Jeremy Daniel) // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork #broadway
photo: Jeremy Daniel

BONUS. The Play That Goes Wrong

The Play That Goes Wrong is quite popular and won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2015. We saw this during Broadway Week. There was a lot of slapstick humor and as the name implies, a lot goes wrong. We did all feel like it was a bit too one-note and the jokes got a bit tiring by the second half of the play.

The next three that we’re planning to watch are: Harry Potter, Lion King, and Aladdin.

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Two Parts)
  2. Hamilton
  3. The Lion King
  4. Wicked
  5. Frozen
  6. The Phantom of the Opera
  7. Aladdin
  8. The Book of Mormon
  9. Mean Girls
  10. Chicago
  11. Come From Away


  1. Pretty Woman The Musical (opening Aug 2018)
  2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Two Parts (opened Apr 2018)
  3. Mean Girls (opened Apr 2018)
  4. Frozen (opened Mar 2018)
  5. Angels in America (opened Mar 2018)
  6. Escape to Margaritaville (opened Mar 2018)
  7. SpongeBob SquarePants (opened Dec 2017)
  8. The Band’s Visit (opened Nov 2017)
  9. Anastasia (opened April 2017)
  10. Come from Away (opened Mar 2017)
  11. Dear Evan Hansen (opened Dec 2016)


  1. The Lion King
  2. Frozen: The Broadway Musical
  3. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Two Parts
  4. SpongeBob SquarePants
  5. Aladdin
  6. School of Rock
  7. Wicked
  8. Anastasia
  9. Come from Away
  10. Mean Girls (teens and up)
  11. Dear Evan Hansen (teens and up)


  1. A Bronx Tale
  2. Aladdin
  3. Anastasia
  4. Angels in America
  5. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
  6. Carousel
  7. Chicago
  8. Children of a Lesser God
  9. Come From Away
  10. Dear Evan Hansen
  11. Escape to Margaritaville
  12. Farinelli and the King
  13. Frozen
  14. Gettin’ the Band Back Together
  15. Hamilton
  16. Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song
  17. Head Over Heels
  18. Hello, Dolly!
  19. King Kong
  20. Kinky Boots
  21. Lobby Hero
  22. Mean Girls
  23. My Fair Lady
  24. Once On This Island
  25. Pretty Woman: The Musical
  26. Rocktopia
  27. Saint Joan
  28. School of Rock – The Musical
  29. SpongeBob SquarePants
  30. Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
  31. The Band’s Visit
  32. The Book of Mormon
  33. The Boys in the Band
  34. The Ferryman
  35. The Iceman Cometh
  36. The Lion King
  37. The Phantom of the Opera
  38. The Play That Goes Wrong
  39. Three Tall Women
  40. Travesties
  41. Waitress
  42. Wicked


  1. Admissions
  2. Afterglow
  3. Amy and the Orphans
  4. Avenue Q
  5. Bebe Neuwirth: Stories With Piano No. 1
  6. Blue Man Group
  7. Bobbie Clearly
  8. Dan Cody’s Yacht
  9. Drink Shakespeare
  10. Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo
  11. Friends! The Musical Parody
  12. Gazillion Bubble Show
  13. In the Body of the World
  14. Jersey Boys
  15. Kings
  16. Miss You Like Hell
  17. Mlima’s Tale
  18. Naked Boys Singing!
  19. Newsical The Musical
  20. Party Face Puffs, Or: Seven Years of Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic
  21. Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man
  22. Sistas
  23. Skintight
  24. Stomp
  25. Summer and Smoke
  26. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  27. The Amateurs
  28. The Beast in the Jungle
  29. The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking
  30. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
  31. The Low Road
  32. The Marvelous Wonderettes
  33. The Stone Witch


  1. All Roads Lead to Kurski Station
  2. All’s Well That End’s Well
  3. Alternating Currents
  4. Bump
  5. Ding Dong It’s the Ocean
  6. Dining with Shakespeare: The Tempest
  7. Happy Birthday Wanda June
  8. The Hollower
  9. King Lear
  10. Macbeth
  11. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  12. The Mushroom Cure
  13. Romeo and Juliet
  14. Singlet
  15. The Three Musketeers: Twenty Years Later
  16. Time’s Journey Through a Room
  17. Tump Lear
  18. Twelfth Night
  19. The Winter’s Tale


  • If you’re in NYC during Broadway Week (mid-January to early Feb). The tickets are 2-for-1 so you can check off some of the shows that you’ve been meaning to watch.
  • Don’t limit yourself to just Broadway. There are a lot of amazing shows Off-Broadway as well.
  • Did you know the difference between Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway are the number of seats in the theater? It’s not necessarily by location. Broadway has over 500 seats, Off-Broadway has over 100, and Off-Off-Broadway is under 100.
  • Be sure to print out your tickets, some box offices will not print them for you. My brother came to a show during his visit and thought his online ticket would work only to find out he had to find a printer. Fortunately, he was able to hop into a nearby hotel to get them printed.
  • If you’re picking up your tickets at the box office, we recommend going earlier in the day. When it gets close to showtime, the whole theater is much more crowded.
  • Plan your bathroom breaks! First off, be aware if there is an intermission, and even if there is, the lines get REALLY backed up.
  • There isn’t a whole lot of space between the seats. If you’ve been out all day shopping or have a lot with you, make plans to drop is off somewhere before heading to the show.
  • Most theaters will sell food and beverages but they come at a price. We picked up some Twizzlers and water for $15, which didn’t surprise me too much, but when the couple next to us ordered 2 cups of wine and it came to a total of $50, all of our jaws dropped.
  • If you’re just looking for a good deal, check out TKTS for same day tickets up to 50% off. Their main location in Times Square is hard to miss, but it also has long lines. Check out their other locations for shorter lines.

We can’t wait to see many more during our year in NYC and will update this post as we do.

Have you seen any of these? What did you think? And which one are you hoping to see next?


  • Times Square (0.2 mi / 4 min walk, map)
  • SPYSCAPE (0.3 mi / 7 min walk, map)
  • Rockefeller Center (0.4 mi / 8 min walk, map)
  • MoMa (0.4 mi / 9 min walk, map)
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral (0.4 / 9 min walk, map)
  • Central Park (0.4 min / 10 min walk, map)


  • Pure Thai Cookhouse (0.3 mi / 7 min walk, map)
  • Totto Ramen (0.3 mi / 7 min walk, map)


  • Casablanca Hotel was the perfect getaway from all the hustle and bustle of Times Square. It’s surprisingly quiet for its location, and we often came back to hang out in their clubhouse when we felt sensory overload. Most importantly, it was only a 5-10 minute walk to all the Broadway shows we watched!


Your Guide to the Best Broadway Musicals and Shows in NYC + How to Get the Best Deals on Broadway Show Tickets + A Complete List of Current Broadway Shows, Off-Broadway Shows, and Off-Off Broadway Shows // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork5 Amazing Broadway Shows in NYC You Can't Miss + How to Get the Best Deals on Tickets + Complete List of Current Broadway Shows // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyorkHamilton on Broadway New York City + Your Guide to the Best Broadway Musicals and Shows in NYC + How to Get the Best Deals on Broadway Show Tickets + A Complete List of Current Broadway Shows, Off-Broadway Shows, and Off-Off Broadway Shows // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork

Your Guide to the Best Broadway Musicals and Shows in NYC + How to Get the Best Deals on Broadway Show Tickets + A Complete List of Current Broadway Shows, Off-Broadway Shows, and Off-Off Broadway Shows // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork
Your Guide to the Best Broadway Musicals and Shows in NYC + How to Get the Best Deals on Broadway Show Tickets + A Complete List of Current Broadway Shows, Off-Broadway Shows, and Off-Off Broadway Shows // Local Adventurer #nyc #newyork








“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust



Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 25 travel blogs in the world. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city every year and currently base themselves in NYC.

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